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tv   Nightline  ABC  May 11, 2010 11:35pm-12:05am EDT

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tonight on "nightline," a mother's pain. as the family of the uva murder suspect speaks out for the first time, new details emerge about an alleged history of violence and many missed opportunities. could the death of yeardley love have been prevented? no end in sight. an environmental disaster unchecked. three weeks after a deadly explosion, as the blame game heats up, new video reveals a federal government ill prepared for this catastrophe. plus, the champ. perhaps the best pound for pound boxer in the world, and in his fayive country, he's worshipped outside the ring, too, as a singer, actor, and as of today,
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congressman. we go toe to toe with manny pacquiao. >> announcer: from the global resources of abc news, with terry moran, martin bashir and cynthia mcfadden in new york city, this is "nightline," may 11th, 2010. >> good evening. from the moment her body was discovered, there's been a tragic progression of shock, sadness and now troubling questions about how yeardley love came to die. were there warning signs that her former boyfriend, now accused of her murder, was capable of such rage, and what did the university of virginia know of his prior offenses? meanwhile, the suspect's mother issued a statement today, expressing her love for the victim, but also her own son, as ashleigh banfield now reports. >> reporter: with her older sister lexi by her side, these were happier days for yeardley
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love, a beautiful young lacrosse player full of hope and promise. >> very sad. very sad. and imagine she was, you know, a few weeks away from graduation. i can't even imagine what that must be like for her family. >> reporter: yeardley has been put to rest, but the events surrounding the 22-year-old's death continue to haunt those closest to her. >> is there anything you can tell us? >> reporter: in an emotional statement today from marta murphy, the mother of george huguely, she reached out to the love family, saying, "i am devastated and confused. yeardley was part of our lives. she was a sweet, wonderful young woman with a limitless future. no parent should have to bury a child, and not a moment goes by when they are not in our thoughts and our prayers. i want to express how deeply saddened we are by yeardley's loss. also, as a mother, i hope that people can understand that both george's father and i love our son." ♪ on the wings of the night
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>> reporter: yeardley's death has sent shockwaves through the university and throughout this state of virginia. the governor, just today, meeting with the university president to discuss this murder and how to prevent another tragedy. >> our job as virginians and as leaders is to look at any tragedy as we did with virginia tech, as we do with things that happen throughout this commonwealth to try to find out in the wake of a tragedy, how can we do things different? how can we do things better? >> reporter: a question many in the community are asking. >> i really want the message to go to women, especially in college, that you need to look for signs. >> reporter: on the surface, few would believe there were signs. george huguely was an all-american in high school, and an mvp before attending uva. >> more important that we won as a team today. we tried really hard to win. >> reporter: during his four
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years at the university, he was vice president of operation smile, and was popular among friends and teammates. but under that ve, trouble was brewing. and though the university said it knew nothing of his brushes with the law, a rap sheet was growing. in 2007, an arrest for underage possession of alcohol and citation for reckless driving. in 2008, police reported an altercation while on his family's yacht. according to his father, there was yelling and screaming and that huguely jumped overboard and rescued by passing boaters. and in 2009, a conviction for public intoxication and resisting arrest. a crime in which he scuffled with a female officer, allegedly threatening her life. she ultimately used her taser to sub due him. >> we did end up on the ground at one point. kept telling him to stop, he needed to comply, and he was only making the situation worse. >> reporter: and there have been other reported instances of violence. he allegedly attacked a lacrosse
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teamma teammate, and students say within weeks of her death, yeardley had to be rescued from an attack by george. but despite all of this, no one stepped forward to alert authorities or the school, including yeardley herself. >> there certainly is an atmosphere, particularly in athletics, where boys will be boys. and they are toll rate etolerat driven by this whole thing of sexual conquest and control. that needs to change. >> they should be more conscious of that. >> reporter: it's something the school and the governor are now addressing head-on. working towards legislation that would noet if i schools if their students are arrested. the president spoke directly to huguely's dark past. >> information of that kind would have lit our system up, simply because students who do those things and we know about it find themselves under interim
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suspension immediately. >> reporter: even with the legislation being discussed to warn students when they are involved with police, police say there's only so much that can do. >> boys will be boys, that's been tolerated for a long time, and i don't think it's over. >> there's no silver bullet that could have kept yeardley alive. but if she would have felt that she could have reached out to somebody else, the dean of students, somebody in the campus who then reports it to the coach and they make george aware that, look, you can't treat people this way. you can't control people this way, it's unam sentablcceptable calls him on it. >> reporter: lacrosse players have returned to the practice field at uva. the men's team is ranked number one. the women's team is number six. both teams are gearing up to play in yeardley's honor. >> i think everyone is a big family here and i think everyone
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is going to go out and support them and though them that they care and understand what they're going through. >> reporter: as yeardley's family and the students struggle to understand and move on with their lives. a scholarship has been set up in her name, and the school has announced it will award her a degree posthumously. she will graduate, with her friends. only, she won't be there. just a memory, frozen in time, of a dazzling young woman who left her mark on a campus left in grief. for "nightline," i'm ashleigh banfield. >> a tragic lesson about domestic violence on college campuses. our thanks to ashleigh banfield. and when we come back, we'll turn to the gulf of mexico, where oil continues to spill. was the federal government really prepared for such a catastrophe? it's a "nightline" investigation. knock, knock. hey! it's finally ready.
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your next great moment, with continuing education programs to fit your schedule and lifestyle. learn more. visit... abc news learned tonight that more natural gas and less oil is gushing into the gulf of mexico. it's perhaps one silver lining in a very dark and toxic cloud. bp has yet to find a way to contain the spill, and the disaster is drifting towards shore. meanwhile, there are questions from congress. but they're not the only ones facingscrutiny. here's our chief investigative correspondent brian ross. >> reporter: martin, three weeks ago tonight that the rig blew up, setting off an environmental disapser.
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one of the country's leading experts in oil spills told abc news today given the scant cleanup planning an technology, bp will be lucky if it can contain even 1% of the escaping oil. and it's clear from documents and videotachs we obtained in a joint investigation with the center for public integrity that the federal government has long known that the plan they practice for containing such a huge spill might fail in just the way it has so far. the tapes show a kind of coast guard war game held just this march to deal with a huge oil spill. >> this is a drill. this is a drill. >> reporter: brought together coast guard and industry officials to practice a quick response. >> we just saw the early morning overflight from this area. >> still looking for 2,000 feet of boom. >> reporter: in the exercise, officials declare themselves well prepared for a major oil spill disaster. >> we expect to have approximately 9,000 barrels off
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of and be finished with the lighting operation by 1800 this evening. >> reporter: but in reality, little worked as planned as bp's deepwater horizon rig exploded into flames on april 20th. >> it was chaos. everybody was scared to death. nothing went like it was supposed to. >> reporter: many of the men worked together on the deepwater horizon since it first arrived on station eight years ago, including crane operator micah sandell. >> it's been a good rig, been a lot of good people. >> reporter: they worked 21 days on, 21 days off. grueling 12-hour shifts, night and day. sending more than a mile's worth of pipe to the oil beds below. it was a close-knit group that made their own music video about safety, keeping their hands free of injury on deck. >>. ♪ here's are the tools we've been given to stay incident free all the time ♪ >> reporter: and under water, the men's safety relied on a
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blowout preventer. >> they always tell us that we have safety devices and warnings and they got ways of shutting it in and -- don't seem like they had nothing. >> reporter: in fact, documents show the rig operator, including transocean, have long known that blowout preventers, b.o.p.ed, have a poor record. >> and now, sadly, this one has horribly not worked, and here we are, suffering the consequences. >> reporter: the explosion on the rig came without warning. there was no alarm. >> it either tells you that the alarms failed or that somebody multed the alarm because alarms are so common out in the oil patch that times it's a matter of course, and they mute alarms. >> reporter: the men on the deck floor had no time to get to safety. >> there was people screaming and hollering and jumping off
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the side. >> reporter: the two men made it to a lifeboat and watched the flaming, knowing their friends did not make it out, including don clark, steve curtis and jason anderson. >> we knew they were burning. we knew they weren't going to make it off. >> reporter: since then, as seen on one of the few underwater videos made public by bp, oichl has been spewing into the gulf at an estimated rate of 5,000 barrels a day. >> i think that reflects the reality that once this disaster happens, we really don't have the tools to cope with it. >> reporter: the coast guard war game tape show one of the big problems. the inflatable booms that are supposed to be the first line of defense against a spill work very poorly in even light winds. >> it's killing us. >> reporter: and the water's chop make the booms almost u useless. >> we won't be skimming any oil in that. >> reporter: while the industry
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has spent billions of dollars on new technology to drill for oil, very little has been spent on new technology to clean up the mess when things go wrong. >> the booms they are using are not even as good as some of the booms that we used 30 and more years ago. >> reporter: m.i.t. professor jerome milgram says putting out the booms in the gulf is little more than an exercise in public relations. >> well, they just do it because it's the only thing they can do, knowing it's not going to do much good. >> reporter: yet bp's worst case scenario for a huge spill in the gulf, approved by the government, relies heavily on booms and attempting to skim almost half billion barrels a day. >> no intelligent person in the industry that seriously thought about it could have believed such an assertion. >> reporter: members of congress took bp and its american president lamar mckay to task
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today over its failure to be prepared for a major spill. >> you seem to be jumping from action to action, which we all hope and pray can work, but that doesn't give me a sense of a plan that was ready to be implemented in a worst case scenario. isn't that a fair criticism? >> let me explain what we are doing. we have multiple parallel efforts at every level of this crisis. we are fighting it offshore. we are using burns and skimming. we are protecting the shorelines with boom. >> i appreciate your litany of what you're attempting to do, but i get the sense you're making things up as you go along. >> reporter: as the oil continues to gush underwater, it is slowly but surely headed for shore, where professor milgram says the outlook is grim. >> there's going to be a lot of oil on the shore. a lot of shell fish beds are going to be poisoned with the e
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remaining poisoned for years. >> reporter: the coast guard cancelled an interview to talk about the practice session and its shortcomings. as for pb, its american president told congress today, we're learning as we go. martin? >> not exactly cause for confidence. our thanks to brian ross for that report. and when we come back, we'll step into the ring with a boxing superstar who has his eyes set on a different type of prize. is manny pacquiao really the on a different type of prize. is manny pacquiao really the people's champion?
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>> announcer: "nightline" continues from new york city with martin bashir. >> any fan of boxing knows that the greatest fighters often assume almost super human status. think of jack dempsey, sugar ray leonard. well, the sport has a new star, and in his native country, the popularity of manny pacquiao has reached mythic levels, both inside and outside the ring. and so, as clarissa ward now reports, he's taken his best shot at a new title. >> reporter: he's won seven titles in seven different weight categories. he's considered to be the world's best pound for pound fighter. and in his homeland of the philippines, he is treated like a god. who is the number one fighter in the world? >> manny! >> reporter: he is manny pacquiao, also known as pac-man the destroyer. and we've come all the way to
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general santos city in the philippines to meet the boxing legend as he prepared for the greatest fight of his life. running for congress in his own country. >> he's had a dream for many years. he knows the political system is very krurpt. he believes he can make a change. and it not a plow to get publicity or anything. >> reporter: when we arrive, the man of the hour is nowhere to be seen. apparently manny is still sleeping. it's now 1:15, we've been waiting for five hours but we were warned to expect this. >> reporter: dozens of people mill around his boxing glove-shaped pool. there are members of his famously bloated entur rage, and his youngest child, queen elizabeth. >> it's like grand central station in new york. there's always a continuous flow of people. >> reporter: michael cons has lived with manny for more than six years. >> here in the philippines, he's
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got more leeway than the president does, i think. we don't go through security at airports. i don't know anybody else that can make an international flight jumbo jet 30 minutes for us. >> reporter: which i guess why he is more than a little late for our appointment. >> six hours. >> reporter: pack yoep's story is the stop of fairy tales. abandoned by his father as a child, he grew up in the slums. sometimes sleeping on the treatments. at the age of 14, he began boxing, earns just $2 a fight. before shooting to super stardom. >> he's still the same person. his heart is so big that he assists anybody and everybody. ♪ hold me now ♪ touch me now >> reporter: his success is not confined to the ring. while his singing voice is limited, he has two platinum albums. and thoep his acting skills may be lacking, he's been in seven movies and a sitcom, appropriately named "show me da
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manny." and then, the endorsement. the pac-man convenience store. he even has a bottled water business. he's worth tens of millimeters of dollars, which is perhaps why he doesn't feel the need to be pung wall. half an hour later, he emerges. good morning. did you sleep welletou. i'm clarissa ward from abc news. >> reporter: and then he's off again. a few words for local reportes s before slipping out the gate in his armored hummer, a convoy of four jeeps surrounding him. we have no idea where we're going. i'm starting to feel like the paparazzi. we end up at a basketball court. he stops to sign autographs before getting stuck into a four-hour game.
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then it's onto a dinner being thrown by the mayor, followed by a closed meeting with campaign advisers. and then, at 12:30 a.m., after 16 long hours, we finally get our interview. for a politician, she's certainly a man of few words. why are you running for congress? >> i'm running for congress because i want to help people. >> reporter: he is deeply pius. >> everything that i have right now is from god, and whatever happens, i will believe god. >> reporter: ridiculously modest. do you think you're the best fighter in the world? >> people say that one of the best. >> reporter: you're so modest. >> but i never consider myself that, you know, best fighter in the world. i'm okay. >> reporter: and while campaigning might look very different here, his political
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goals are serious. >> i want to see myself to be, you know, good leader, good public servant. >> reporter: and then he is off again. this time, to his bar, where he plays billiards into the early ho hours of the morning. boxing, basketball, billiards, and now politics. manny pacquiao plays to win, and in this fight, the gloves are off. for "nightline," i'm clarissa ward, general santos city, the philippines. >> and manny pacquiao did win the election in the philippines, reigniting speculation about when and if he'll return to boxing. our thanks to clarissa ward. and when we come back, the united kingdom has a new prime minister. but first, here's jimmy kimmel with what's coming up next on abc. >> jimmy: tonight, julia louis-dreyfus, recently killed dancing star, niecy nash, music
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from michael ♪ ♪ ♪ ay, yay, yay, yay ♪ ay, yay, yay, yay ♪ ♪ ♪ baby, baby, baby, baby... uh-oh ♪ ♪
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